User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Deponia: The Puzzle

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Windows
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3.4
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Description

Deponia: The Puzzle is a jigsaw puzzle game based on the Deponia adventure game series. The game offers 96 artwork items from the three games in the series for the player to piece together: Deponia, Chaos on Deponia and Goodbye Deponia. Each game is unlocked gradually and there are two sets of puzzle levels for each game, offering six main levels in total. Each level consists of a path of puzzles opened up by completing them. A completed puzzle is ranked with up to three stars and by doing well multiple puzzles can be unlocked at once. The game keeps track of the best score per puzzle and the amount of stars earned so far. If the player earns many stars it is not always needed to complete all of the puzzles in a level in order to progress to the next one. After completing a level the player is ranked based on the number of correct guesses, combos of correct choices and speedy ones. The performance is also rated in-game with up to 100 points a piece. The maximum amount of points corresponds with a correct choice in a fast time.

Three types of jigsaw puzzle mechanics are used. In the first one the player starts with a single piece and the next one to input is marked with a red square. The player chooses the correct piece from a selection on the right hand side. The starting piece and the order is randomized for each session. The second mechanic is similar with a red outlined part and a selection on the right, but now shapes can have different forms, for instance curved or circular instead of rectangular. The outline also helps to choose the correct shape. The third mechanic offers more freedom as pieces need to be dragged to the correct position from a selection on the right. It snaps into place when the correct location is chosen. There is no outline and this opens up various ways of approaching the puzzle based on the provided context. Generally more difficult puzzles consist of more pieces per puzzle and an increasingly larger selection on the right. Eventually there are more than 100 pieces per puzzle in later levels.

Each game mode (not determined by the player, but assigned per puzzle automatically) is time limited and punishes the player for waiting too long or choosing an incorrect piece. There is a vertical bar to the right side of the screen where a skull moves up and down to show the current performance. When doing badly, it goes down. If a correct piece is chosen right away or in quick succession, it moves up. When it stays near the top yellow stars are earned. In the first two game modes it goes down for every incorrect choice. If the player waits too long, a piece is removed from the selection on the right, narrowing the choice. When the skull reaches the bottom of the bar, the game is over. The third game mode changes the concept as it is not possible to select an incorrect piece. Instead, new pieces start appearing on the right at a steady rate. If the player does not manage to input a piece correctly, it needs to be let go and is dropped in a "river" near the bottom of the screen where it flows to the left. When it reaches the left side, it is put in the correct position, but with a penalty. It is still possible to pick up a piece while it is in the river. The same happens if the player waits too long: then the pieces from the selection start falling down in the river automatically.

While solving a puzzle it is possible to flip the image entirely. The image remains, but the correct pieces are then in a different position and the selection is altered accordingly, offering a glimpse of parts of the correct solution, or offering an alternative choice for a difficult piece while time is running out.

Screenshots

Deponia: The Puzzle Windows Explanation of the first puzzle mechanic
Deponia: The Puzzle Windows Too many wrong choices and the game is over.
Deponia: The Puzzle Windows The second puzzle mechanic where pieces have different shapes.
Deponia: The Puzzle Windows It looks easier, unless there are too many choices.

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Contributed to by Sciere (270771)